Was this inappropriate?


#1

[font=Comic Sans MS]Below is a copy of an email exchange with a co-worker of mine. I was surprised at the intensity this coworker’s worded response shortly after I sent mine. I sent this in response to hearing her yell 6-7times the name **Jesus Christ **in an extremely loud and emphatic voice. I allowed @ 15 minutes to pass and all was quiet before I sent my email request. I am going to let things lie and hopefully this co-worker will give my request some thought. Bye the way, I sent the exact same email request to a Jewish co-worker and we had a much more respectful and sensitive exchange. I chose email because I felt that it would be less confrontative and give the person time to react on their own terms. Any thoughts if I was out of line? [/font]

My request:

[Please take this as an appropriate request from a coworker. I have been increasingly sensitive to coworkers/supervisor in my hearing vicinity who states emphatically the name **Jesus Christ. I notice that this is usually stated in an exasperated, frustrated, or angry voice tone. I do not believe that your intention is to offend anyone who is Christian, but I do find this an offensive use of a holy name of my Christian faith. I have decided to begin to initially give individual feedback at a totally informal request level that the person speaking this sacred name of my personal faith please make an attempt to refrain from using the name Jesus Christ in an inappropriate, insensitive manner.

Thank you.]

……….Here is my co-workers response:

[You know what?

I don’t need to hear this from you.

And you aren’t the only one who has this Christian faith.

While I don’t mean to offend, I certainly don’t have to answer to you. I answer to God, not humans.]

…………followed up 3 minutes later this second response:

[And other thing, I am deeply offended that you even bothered to send such an e-mail to me, like you’re the only Christian around here. I find your tone very judgmental.

While I understand where you’re coming from, what I say is up to God and me, not you or anyone else.]


#2

Pray for the person and each time you hear the person using God’s name in vain, say another prayer for them and offer up the pain you may feel to God. It seems to me that you are going to have to bear this in silence.

I did not read anything wrong with your request.

ybiC,
Trevor


#3

Your email was not offensive.You were not being judgemental and it seems the only acceptable intolerance is in regards to Christians!Thankyou for standing up for Jesus.God Bless


#4

I actually think it is great that you addressed this.

I do not think your tone was bad or judgmental. Do not feel bad - you stuck up for Jesus and that is not easy.

I find the same around my office. Even a man I dated (long gone now) used to use this expression, Jesus ( expletive) Christ. I would shudder when he said that. I can only imagine what Jesus thinks.

May God send you abundant blessings. I am sure that was not easy to write.


#5

I see nothing wrong. However, I would have gone face to face with the person.


#6

[quote=jrabs]I actually think it is great that you addressed this.

I do not think your tone was bad or judgmental. Do not feel bad - you stuck up for Jesus and that is not easy.

I find the same around my office. Even a man I dated (long gone now) used to use this expression, Jesus ( expletive) Christ. I would shudder when he said that. I can only imagine what Jesus thinks.

May God send you abundant blessings. I am sure that was not easy to write.
[/quote]

Save those e-mails.

My 22-year-old daughter stood up to an irascible boss who was pounding the copier and shouting the same thing at it. The next day he apologized. Ya never know.


#7

So this co-worker is a Christian? Well, if she recognizes that she’s accountable to God, then perhaps she’ll recognize the second commandment:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.”

Seems pretty clear-cut to me! :thumbsup:

I agree with the others. You were right to say something, and I think you were polite about it.

Scullinius


#8

Felra,

I do find something wrong with your request. Since that woman was angry.

You answered in a totally correct way. You were almost apologetic.
What the lady said to you was:

  1. She doesn’t give a hoot what you think.
  2. She thinks she can talk to God to find out if she was wrong.

You can’t reason with an angry woman. Cool it. Whenyou see her at the lunch room- spend 2 seconds smiling at her - then ignore her.

Years ago there was one man who would curse in the coffee room. After he says G____ Da__ for a day, I came back the next day asking him to step outside. I told him that every time he cursed I had to say a minutes worth of prayes for him. He outweighed me by 80 pounds and was much younger…ya know what? He never cursed again in front of me.


#9

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=456370&postcount=11


#10

felra–

1st, you are totally right and within your rights to address the issue. You were respectful and tactful.

That said–I’ve had run ins w/coworkers because e-mail doesn’t convey intention well. I am a part-time teacher, and I am not physically in the school but for half the day. I had an exchange via e-mail with some members of my department that just grew more and more tense with each new e-mail. The issue was finally resolved but in retrospect, I think perhaps I contributed to the problem with my tone.

I am not social with the people of my department and the issue was of a professional nature so I chose to use a formal tone (much like yours). I was polite and professional, but I think the people read into it a condescending attitude that was totally not intentional–I MEANT to be polite and professional. Also, I think those that received the message recognized that they were in error and became defensive–thus all too ready to ascribe a "holier-than-thou attitude to what I had written.

Don’t worry about it, but I think if I were in your shoes, I would go to the person and let them know your intention was not to be condecending–I don’t think you need to reitterate that she should stop using the Lord’s name in vain–I’m sure she got the message–maybe take the burden on your back and admit you didn’t know how to adddress it and that maybe you should have just spoken to her in the first place…People love it when they think you’re grovelling!


#11

Good for you! I found nothing wrong with what you had sent. It was a very respectful email. I applaude you for standing up for what you believe in!

However, I will caution you to maybe find another way to approach this than in an email. It has been my experience that angry people read it with an angry tone. If they are in a very bad mood than they will read it with disdain, as an attack instead of a request. This is not because the author of the email did anything wrong. It is because email is flat, it can not reflect the tone of a voice, the gentle smile that was on a face, or a pleading look in your eyes.

I think you did a wonderful thing and when this person calms down and has a good day, they will realize that thier response was uncalled for. Kudos to you!!!:clapping:


#12

Good for you! I wish I had your courage.

Save the response and your own e-mail request. That person’s response to you was unconditionally hostile to your very appropriate request.

We had to attend a class at work: Civil Treatment for employees, which basically addressed this issue. They encouraged us to go to co-workers if they said something offensive to or within our hearing. If we couldn’t do that then they encouraged us to bring it to the HR person or someone else.

Under the law you have a legal right to be free of a hostile environment. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ taken in vain causes you stress and affects your ability to work, and you handled this appropriately.

Take the next step and go to a supervisor, an HR person, or anyone your company may designate as a go-to person.

You have the opportunity here to change your work environment for the better and educate others at the same time.

God Bless you in your suffering and effort!


#13

I have to admit sheepishly I have been guilty of this offense, a habit I aquired growing up and am very much trying to break. I do have a “catholic” …well sort of…not really…doesn’t go Mass… manager that besides frequent use of 4 letter words will yell out Jesus Christ or God d*** it. One time he yelled out Jesus Christ to which I asked “Where?!” and another coworker (I think southern baptist) yelled out “Everywhere! All the time!” To which I said “Awesome.” My manager laughed and said “Oh will you 2 religious people shut up.”

I agree better to humbly discuss the matter in person. Even though my family growing up was/is Catholic I wasn’t raised that was particularly offensive (dad said it all the time). When I was about 13 and at the home of a friends (Pentecostal) I said Jesus in exasperation in the presense of her mom. My friend looked like she would die. She said through gritted teeth “Don’t say that.” I thoughT to myself “Wow these are holy rollers huh?” I really didn’t know better. Ofcourse I do now. Something that comes up in confession a lot.

Whether or not you were judgemental (which I don’t think you were) this person feels judged and that is where the defensiveness comes in. I would still try to approach this person and resolve the matter with Christian charity. I wouldn’t bring up the fact that it’s because you are “Christian”, whether it’s factual or not this person may consider themselves Christian as well which then implies you are a better Christian. I would more go along the lines that you were raised that using the Lord’s name this way was very offfensive and it makes it difficult for you to hear it spoken this way.


#14

[quote=dhgray]I see nothing wrong. However, I would have gone face to face with the person.
[/quote]

I agree with dhgray; I think a personal contact would be better. Spoken words are evanescent, but email is forever. I have seen email exchanges in the workplace that turn into neverending threads that increase in stridency. People print them out, save them, forward them to the union, their boss, their friends. It’s too easy to escalate.


#15

[quote=felra]Below is a copy of an email exchange with a co-worker of mine…
[/quote]

:clapping:

:blessyou:


#16

I really have to commend you for having the strength to broach this subject at your workplace. Wish I had as much backbone. I thought your email was respectful and professional. She must have been having a really bad day to respond a second time. However, I bet your note will stay in her mind and make her more conscious of others around her.


#17

What a courageous thing you did! I’m sorry it was taken negatively. I did not find anything offensive in your post, and think you were absolutely correct to address the problem directly.

However, I am not surprised you got the response you did. Two possible reasons come to mind:

  1. The person feels guilt and shame at having an error called to their attention. There are just some people who cannot accept any kind of correction.

  2. The written word is easier to misinterpret than a personal discussion. I mean that the sender’s intention is easy to mistake when you don’t have the eye contact, tone of voice and body language to clarify intention.

I agree with others that you should pray for this person. Don’t be surprised if you get an apology. Or maybe not. I think if they continue or increase this behavior, I would speak to them face to face and privately the next time. I would try to gently and humbly convey the message that this behavior offends you terribly, and disrupts your work environment. I would also explain in a non-threatening way that you would like to see this resolved between you, but that you will have to escalate the issue to your boss if it cannot be. Then do it.


#18

I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful comments and suggestions. I agree that if there is a next time, I will approach the offending person face to face in a calm moment to eliminate any perception of misunderstanding, and if need be to dialogue. It is worth standing up for what is sacred and holy. Hopefully this issue will resolve with this coworker. I will pray for her. Thanks.


#19

Actually, I don’t think that it was resolved. By letting her have the last word, she may think that she was correct in her actions (since you didn’t challenge her and reply back) and she may do them again. I would reply to her e-mail as follows …

[quote=you said] … You know what? I don’t need to hear this from you

… And I don’t need to hear you taking my Lord’s name in vain.

[quote=you said] … you aren’t the only one who has this Christian faith
[/quote]

… Are you implying that you are Christian? I couldn’t tell by the way you were breaking the second commandment of God = “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain”.

[quote=you said] … While I understand where you’re coming from, what I say is up to God and me, not you or anyone else
[/quote]

… That is where you are wrong. While at work I do not have the right to do and say things that other workers may find to be offensive. Consequentially, you do not have the right to do or say things which I might find offensive and this is not something which might be questionable or subjective as being “offensive” to others because openly breaking one of the Ten Commandments (which has been a corner stone for both the Jewish & Christian faiths for thousands of years) is something that is legitimately offensive.

[quote=you said] … I am deeply offended that you even bothered to send such an e-mail to me
[/quote]

… And I was deeply offending by you taking the Lord’s name in vain. What? You can offend me and I can’t offend you? You are the one who started with the offenses. If you didn’t do anything that offended me, there would not have been a reason for me to have done anything that offended you.

[quote=you said] … I find your tone very judgmental
[/quote]

… It IS very judgemental because as a Christian, I am obeying what my religion teaches me. Recall what is written in Matthew 18:15-17 … “If your brother (or sister, in this case) sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” … I did the CHRISTIAN thing and first approached you about it privately.
[/quote]


#20

[quote=Sir Knight] I would reply to her e-mail as follows …
[/quote]

smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_41.gifDon’t do it!!!
smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_15.gif(But, oh…it be so satisfying…)
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_41.gifNo--witness by your example!
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_15.gif(But imagine the look on her face!)
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_41.gifTake the high road and lead her to the foot of Christ! http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_15.gif(But she deserves justice–Jesus told Peter “Get behind me Satan”–let her have it!!!)
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_41.gifThe devil can quote scripture… %between% %between%


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